Three-time All-Star Jered Weaver hasn't looked anything like one of the game's best pitchers over the last two weeks.
Weaver and Fister try to get on track as the visiting Los Angeles Angels go for a ninth consecutive win over the Tigers in Thursday's series finale.
After going 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his first two outings since coming off the disabled list May 29, Weaver (1-4, 4.65) hasn't looked right. The right-hander has compiled a 6.62 ERA during a three-start losing streak, his longest such stretch since dropping a career worst-tying four straight May 2-18, 2011.
"The last three starts it just kind of seems like there's one inning that's a blow-up inning, and I've just got to learn to stay away from that," he said. "It's frustrating. I'm not doing a whole lot to help the team right now. I just have to keep battling, and hopefully things will turn around."
Weaver was taken deep twice in Friday's 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh, allowing four runs and a season-high nine hits in six innings.
"I think right now it's just command. His velocity isn't any different than it was last year," manager Mike Scioscia told MLB's official website. "Once he starts commanding counts a little bit better and being able to really open up counts for his secondary pitches, he's going to be fine."
Regrouping in this game could prove difficult for Weaver, who's 3-4 in nine starts against the Tigers with a 5.47 ERA - his highest mark against any AL club. Jhonny Peralta is 9 for 25 with a homer and five doubles in their matchups and Torii Hunter is 3 for 9 with two home runs.
Fister (6-5, 3.66), meanwhile, surrendered season highs of six runs and 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings Friday in a 10-6 loss to Boston. The right-hander failed to record a strikeout for the first time in 15 starts this year.
"It was pretty simple to sum it up: I think he wasn't at his best. However, he also didn't pitch into very good luck," manager Jim Leyland said. "If they hit it hard, they got a hit. And if they didn't hit it hard, they got a hit. It was one of those nights."
Unlike Weaver, Fister has thrived in the series, going 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his last two starts against the Angels. He allowed three unearned runs and five hits in seven innings in a 4-3, 13-inning defeat at Los Angeles on April 21.
The Angels (35-43) continued their recent mastery of Detroit (42-34) with Wednesday's 7-4 victory. Mike Trout and Erick Aybar both hit two-run homers for Los Angeles, which has outscored the Tigers 55-21 during its eight-game run in the series.
"If we knew what we were doing differently (against Detroit), we'd probably try to do it against everybody else," catcher Chris Iannetta said.
Trout has six homers, 16 RBIs and 17 runs in his last 14 games against the Tigers. He's batting .345 with five homers, 22 RBIs and 27 runs in his last 34 contests overall.
The Angels have won eight of 13 while hitting .309." It's another team that's a good team, and they've been swinging the bats very well lately" Leyland said. "They're like everybody else."
Detroit is hoping to avoid its first three-game home sweep since April 24-26, 2012, versus Seattle.
Miguel Cabrera , who went 2 for 4 with his 22nd homer Wednesday, is batting .465 with four homers and nine RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|June 23, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb injury|
|June 21, 2013||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Right wrist soreness|
|June 18, 2013||Jason Vargas||15-Day DL||Blood clot, left arm|
|June 10, 2013||Robert Coello||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 02, 2013||Garrett Richards||Day-to-Day||Left game - Ankle injury|
|May 28, 2013||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|June 20, 2013||Matt Tuiasosopo||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal|
|June 20, 2013||Matt Tuiasosopo||Day-to-Day||Rib cage strain|
|June 17, 2013||Alex Avila||15-Day DL||Left forearm contusion|
|June 16, 2013||Anibal Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|June 08, 2013||Anibal Sanchez||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder stiffness|
|May 12, 2013||Austin Jackson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
DETROIT (AP) -- Albert Pujols got the biggest hit of the game. Jered Weaver delivered the most encouraging performance, as far as the Los Angeles were concerned.
Pujols hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and the Angels beat Detroit 3-1 on Thursday for their ninth straight victory over the Tigers.
Mike Trout had four hits and was in the middle of the decisive rally for the Angels, who completed a three-game sweep. Weaver pitched seven strong innings in a tight duel with Detroit right-hander Doug Fister .
"Just wanted to concentrate on keeping things simple and keeping the mechanics sound and tried to locate," said Weaver, the staff ace who had struggled since coming off the disabled list.
Making his sixth start since returning from a broken left (non-throwing) elbow, Weaver gave up one run and four hits. He walked two and struck out six.
After the Tigers scored in the second, Weaver allowed only a hit and a walk in his final five innings. He retired his last 13 batters.
"We're confident that he's going to pitch more like he did today than the way he has in a couple of his last starts," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
J.B. Shuck singled leading off the 10th against Phil Coke (0-5) and went to third on Trout's single to right field. Pujols sent a drive to deep center, where Austin Jackson tried to make a difficult catch with his back to home plate.
The ball tipped off the webbing of Jackson's glove, hit the wall and trickled to the ground.
"That ball was crushed," Scioscia said.
After an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick loaded the bases, Josh Hamilton made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly.
"The Pujols pitch wasn't a bad pitch. I think that maybe it wasn't the right pitch in that particular moment," Coke said. "I didn't feel like I made the perfect pitch to him by any means, but the last thing I thought he was going to do is hit it as far as he did. It was away from him. I looked at where (catcher Brayan) Pena was set up and he was going away from Pujols with his glove, going away to receive the ball. He found it with his barrel."
Kevin Jepsen (1-2) worked a scoreless ninth for the win and Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his 19th save in 21 chances.
Neither team could do much against the starters.
Scott Downs replaced Weaver and set down the leadoff man in the eighth. But Downs then allowed Omar Infante 's pinch-hit double and hit Jackson with a pitch. Downs was pulled for Michael Kohn , who struck out former Angel Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera , both swinging, to end the inning.
"Having a situation with Torii, as clutch as they come, and then you've got the best hitter in the league up next," Scioscia said. "What he did to get out of that eighth inning was huge."
Fister yielded one run and seven hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four. After the Angels tied the game in the fourth, he gave up only one hit in his final three innings and didn't allow a runner past second.
"He did a tremendous job. The fact that he was able to contain that offense, that shows that he's a good pitcher," Pena said. "He kept us in the ballgame and he gave us a chance to win the ballgame. That's what you ask. He pitched beautifully."
Fister was relieved by Al Alburquerque , who pitched a scoreless eighth. The Angels got runners to second and third with two outs in the ninth against Joaquin Benoit , but he struck out Erick Aybar swinging at a 3-2 pitch to get out of the jam.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the second on Brayan Pena 's two-out RBI single. It scored Victor Martinez , who singled with one out and went to second when Jhonny Peralta followed with a single.
Los Angeles tied it in the fourth on three consecutive singles to start the inning. Brad Hawpe 's single to right scored Hamilton from third. Alberto Callaspo was thrown out at third by Hunter on the play.
NOTES: Los Angeles placed RHP Tommy Hanson on the 15-day disabled list. Hanson was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night when he felt tightness in his right forearm while warming up in the bullpen. Scioscia said Hanson (4-2, 5.10 ERA) would have an MRI on Thursday. The team recalled LHP Michael Roth from Double-A Arkansas. ... Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez , on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain, threw to batters before the game. ... Cabrera is the sixth player since 1920 with 1,200 RBIs and 300 home runs in his first 11 seasons. The others were Hank Aaron , Ted Williams , Joe DiMaggio , Jeff Bagwell and Pujols. ... Cabrera went 1 for 4 on Thursday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, which tied a season high. ... The Tigers begin a three-series road swing this weekend at Tampa Bay. Max Scherzer looks to run his record to 12-0 on Friday night when he faces Alex Colome (1-0, 0.00 ERA). ... The Angels head for Houston, where Jerome Williams (5-3, 3.36) will oppose Astros RHP Bud Norris (5-7, 3.60).